First-Gen Voices Journal

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

First Gen. Voices is a peer-reviewed journal of creative writing, visual and recorded art, and scholarly work from the first-generation college community. Students and/or faculty and staff who identify as “first-generation college,” as well as those who support the first-generation community, are encouraged to submit original creative and critical work for consideration. New issues are published every fall and spring semester. Personal narratives by participants in the First To Go Writers' Workshop are also featured in special issues throughout the year. 

To browse our complete collection of published work, please visit our journal homepage at 

More information on general submission rules and formatting guidelines can be found on our "Policies" page:


‌Volume 7, Live. Tell. Resist., features visual art, poetry, fiction, and critical writing by first-generation college students on two campuses, in addition to personal narratives composed by participants in the Spring 2017 First To Go Writing Community Workshop. From meditations on study abroad to reflections on timely social justice issues, these pieces speak to the diversity of first-generation college experiences and identities. 

Take a look at some of our submissions from Volume 7:


Harman Brah (Class of 2017)

Though your best might not be the best

You will be so much more than you can guess

So rise my champion from the contest

And remember why your grandma calls you

He who is blessed

(For more poems by Harman, check out pg. 13 of FGV, Live. Tell. Resist)

Unfamiliar Familiar Faces

Camila De Pierola (Scholars Cohort 2017-18) 

“In the end I was able to grow. I was able to learn about this whole other world I had never experienced before. I was able to question myself and others. My first year in college definitely consisted of experiences and challenges I did not expect, but I continued my way through it. I jumped into a school I was in love with, and fell even more in love with its positive aspects along with its flaws. I found myself lucky to be a part of two diverse worlds that I loved so much and considered home. Most importantly, I was able to understand that these were different worlds, but it was my job to connect them” (De Pierola, Unfamiliar Familiar Faces).

Dream State

Tyra Cecilio (Scholars Cohort 2017-18)

"I smile, I can't help but do it. In the beginning I really doubted how difficult college was going to be, but as I walk back, I begin to reflect on how much I grew as a person. Curve balls, whether good or bad, were thrown at me, but I was able to hit them out of the park. Excitement grew inside me as I realize that I was finally going to get a break! As rain trickles over my umbrella, I blink" (Cecilio, Dream State).